This vacation actually started when Jeremy and I were standing on the summit of Kala Patthar. We had this gorgeous view of Mount Everest and as I was trying my hardest to live (and breathe) in the moment I couldn’t stop thinking about digging my feet into really hot sand. Over half a year later that’s exactly what I did. With just 900 miles and a 2 day drive Jeremy and I, along with my entire family, were at a beach just East of Destin, Florida. I stuck my feet in the sand. And would you believe me if I told you I couldn’t stop letting my mind wander to the Himalayas? It’s not a grass is greener situation – I promise. It’s more like… how nice would it be if the ocean and the mountains could meet each other? I can’t help but think they would get along splendidly.
We always had nice but modest vacations growing up. So I felt a little out of place and disoriented when we pulled up to our completely over-the-top beach house. My 7-year-old nephew and I were so excited that we hopped out of the car and jumped directly into the pool – with all our clothes on. I hope it’s a moment he never forgets.
Every time Jeremy and I get into an ocean we have boogie boards attached to our wrists. It doesn’t look impressive but it’s such a thrill. There were times when a wave would flip me over and slam me into sand face first – it would remind me that the ocean is this huge, living body of water that could give a shit about my existence. But then there were times when I would ride on a wave all the way to the shore and it was as if the ocean and I were in it together.
I tried to rent a surfboard but was dejected by some teenagers working the surfshop – including one who told me he hated the ocean (what the what!?) and had no surfing advice for me. Later, I struck up a conversation with a friendly lifeguard who noticed and commented on Jeremy’s tattoos – he said that the waves in Destin weren’t great for learning to surf anyways – but he advised that I absolutely try it out one day. I’m hoping to have my new friend Paige teach me in El Salvador.
Our family vacation was filled with fun in the water and lots of sand in our swimsuits. We cooked huge family meals and drank a few beers. We went to a driving range where I learned that not only do I do cartwheels left-handed but I also golf left-handed. I also learned that golfing is not for me. We put together jigsaw puzzles and snacked on olives, hummus and Fritos. We rented bikes and pedaled into a little tourist town 4 miles down the road where we ate raw food out of a truck. Our vacation was long enough that it started to feel like real life and I never wanted it to end. And of course, on our drive home, I couldn’t stop thinking about what’s next.